10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In NYC

Want to live in the city but not sure which NYC neighborhood you should avoid? We've compiled a list of the 10 most dangerous ones. Want a sneak peek? Brownsville and East Harlem are up there!

most dangerous neighborhoods in nyc

Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Broadway are just some of the well-known and iconic symbols of New York City. You can also find the world’s largest harbor, which has been the shore of legal immigration for years. It is considered to have the largest population of foreign-born citizens.

This city is the most populated city in the United States, with over eight million residents. In addition to these residents, almost 63 million tourists on average visit New York City in a year. The city can be a fascinating place to visit, or even live, but through all of these amazing landmarks and features, there can be some scary and dark areas. Before you sign a lease, you need to know all you can about the neighborhood.

After some extensive research, we have concluded that downtown NYC is the most dangerous neighborhood in the city due to your 1 in 7 chance of becoming a victim of a crime. This is followed by Midtown and Brownsville, as they also have high violent crime rates.

Over the years, the overall crime rates of the city as a whole have decreased. Some say this is due to the tactics put forth by the NYPD. They have even seen a decrease in organized crime as gangs and mafias are leaving the city. Regardless of this decrease in the city’s crime rates, many neighborhoods still have crime rates that are four to five times the national average.

10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In New York City

Below are some neighborhoods you should be wary of if you ever find yourself in NYC.

10. East New York, Brooklyn

  • Population: 147,562
  • Violent Crime (per 100,000 people): 1,092
  • Chance of Being a Victim: 1 in 32

Brooklyn is a trendy area when people think of New York City; however, it is nestled in the eastern section is East New York. The neighborhood was initially developed for industrial manufacturing; however, many lost their jobs after World War II, leading to unemployment and poverty.

As poverty became more common, so did crime in the area. This has decreased the ambition to revitalize the neighborhood, which has brought in more issues, like drug-related crimes. Violent crimes in this neighborhood are 188% more than that of the national average.

9. Tremont

  • Population: 106,094
  • Violent Crime (per 100,000 people): 1,230
  • Chance of Being a Victim: 1 in 36

Located in West Bronx, Tremont is a residential neighborhood that has two separate precincts of the NYPD. It is a low-income area, and for years the neighborhood has been considered one of the poorest in America.

Since almost half the residents are below the poverty line, the majority of them rent their homes rather than own them.  A lot of buildings are left abandoned as a result of arson in the 1970s. Crime in the area has always been prevalent, and violent crimes are 178% more than that of the national average.

8. Fordham

  • Population: 64,594
  • Violent Crime (per 100,000 people): 1,235
  • Chance of Being a Victim: 1 in 30

Fordham is found in the western part of the Bronx and is home to the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University. The neighborhood is sectioned by north and south; each area has its precincts of the NYPD. Overall, the population in Fordham is one of the smallest, but they do have a higher crime rate than most. The risk of assault in this neighborhood is five times the national average.

7. East Harlem

  • Population: 51,347
  • Violent Crime (per 100,000 people): 1,611
  • Chance of Being a Victim: 1 in 23

Found on the upper part of Manhattan, East Harlem is the heart of immigration, which makes it an eclectic and diverse neighborhood. All aspects of this neighborhood see crimes ranging from drug deals and rape to shootings and burglaries.

Harlem has increased the number of police officers, which has seen a response of declining crimes. However, violent crimes are still 264% more than that of the national average.

6. Mott Haven

  • Population: 70,301
  • Violent Crime (per 100,000 people): 2,033
  • Chance of Being a Victim: 1 in 20

There are a lot of areas, like St. Mary’s Park, that one should not venture alone at night. Mott Haven has a crime rate that has gone 360% above the national average, which has deemed this a dangerous neighborhood in New York City. In order to minimize crime, police officers and rehab centers are found more frequently. Unfortunately, this has not made much of a difference.

 5. Hunts Point

  • Population: 22,864
  • Violent Crime (per 100,000 people): 1,938
  • Chance of Being a Victim: 1 in 23

This neighborhood is a hazardous part of town, with rape cases increasing more than five times. It is in the Bronx section and has a reputation for prostitution and drug activity. Small efforts have been made to improve the neighborhood but without avail. It still has a crime rate that is 55% above the national average.

4. Bedford

  • Population: 234,457
  • Violent Crime (per 100,000 people): 1,062
  • Chance of Being a Victim: 1 in 36

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, this neighborhood was known as one of the largest ghettos in America. It is still a high crime area, and its crime rate keeps increasing. The number of robberies and violent encounters and the fact that they are happening more often is very troublesome to residents in the neighborhood.

3. Brownsville

  • Population: 114,519
  • Violent Crime (per 100,000 people): 1,260
  • Chance of Being a Victim: 1 in 37

Found on the east side of Brooklyn, this neighborhood has been listed as the most dangerous in the city for a while. The Brownsville neighborhood is not considered hazardous; it is deemed to be deadly. What was once considered the murder capital of New York, the statistics of Brownsville’s crime have improved, but not by much.

Due to all the violent crimes in the neighborhood, Brownsville holds the record of the lowest life expectancy. Their mortality rate is four times that of New York’s average.  They also have a high infant mortality rate.

2. Midtown

  • Population: 62,515
  • Violent Crime (per 100,000 people): 1,398
  • Chance of Being a Victim: 1 in 11

Midtown is a very popular area of New York City. Here you can find Times Square and Central Park. It is a top-rated tourist destination, so people from all over are coming and going from Midtown. This can be the main factor in the crime rates in the area as most crimes are risk of being mugged or robbed.

1. Downtown

  • Population: 11,972
  • Violent Crime (per 100,000 people): 2,420
  • Chance of Being a Victim: 1 in 7

An area that was once referred to as a business area before the attack of September 11th has made a complete 180 turnaround, unfortunately for the worse. The downtown area of New York City now has more restaurants, apartments, and boutiques, along with a few strip clubs.

The majority of the crime in the downtown area is property crime, rather than murder or burglaries. Regardless of having one of the lowest populations, the downtown area is 400% more than that of the national average.

How To Stay Safe In New York City

New York City isn’t like every other city as it’s completely crowded, and it’s huge. There are many tourists that come in and out, therefore, you never know who you’re going to cross paths with. Here are just a few pointers to stay safe in NYC, especially if you’re going to one of the worst neighborhoods.

Review Your Accommodations

New York City is a high-traffic tourist destination, and there are thousands of hotels available. Before making your reservation, research and review the hotels and the neighborhoods they are located in.

When you leave the airport, it is best to get to your hotel to unpack and place any valuables in the safe. It is imperative that you never open your door without verifying your visitor, especially if it is housekeeping that you did not request.

Check Your Taxi

An iconic symbol of New York City is the yellow cabs with the light on the roof. All taxis in New York City are clearly identified, so never get into an unmarked vehicle. There are a few distinct features to identify: the light on the top displaying the cab driver’s medallion number and the ID number on the hood of the vehicle. Use caution when using any other forms of transportation like Lyft or Uber.

Map Your Route

The best way to see the city, of course, is to walk. The city is an excellent platform for tourists to walk to get to their location since they will see more along the way. Before heading out, plan your walking trip and maintain it. Pay close attention to landmarks and street signs.

Always be hypervigilant, especially at night, but also with traffic and cyclists on the road. If you ever get lost, find a store to go into for help or find a police officer for directions.

Riding The Subway

New York City subway can not only be affordable means of transportation but a great experience of the city. You will need to buy a Metrocard and make sure you get it from an approved vendor. While waiting for the subway, ensure you are behind the yellow line and “mind the gap.” When riding the subway at night, try to ride in the conductor’s car.

Stick To Well-Known Areas

There are a lot of areas that are really great for tourists to explore, and if you stick to them, you will find no trouble. Most of the city can be explored easily. Times Square and the financial district will have a lot of traffic but will ensure a sense of security.

Chelsea is an excellent area to see New York City’s art as well as some nightlife. The best part is they are well populated and well-patrolled for your safety.

Wrapping It Up

If you’re ever planning to visit the Big Apple, make sure you do your research regarding the areas you want to visit. Always use common sense, such as don’t get into a stranger’s car, and never walk after dark alone. Just because a neighborhood is dangerous doesn’t mean you need to avoid it; however, you need to be extra cautious.

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Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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